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Experience The Mighty 5: Utah's National Parks

Experience The Mighty 5: Utah's National Parks
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Northern Utah: ‘Peak’ Your Curiosity

A road trip in Northern Utah might include motoring up Logan Canyon – loaded with high alpine scenery, campsites, and hiking and biking trails – to Bear Lake for boating and summer festivals, and to Ogden's Union Station for a visit to its own railroad museum. On the way south through Davis County, look west and you can't miss the Great Salt Lake, and you'll want to check it out via Antelope Island State Park.

Of course, you're never far from Wasatch Mountains where you can ski, snowboard, hike, bike and camp to our hearts' delight. In Northeastern Utah, the High Uintas Wilderness invites exploration on horseback or with backpacks and fishing rods, or you can sneak a peek at Utah's Dinosaur past at sites near Vernal.

Maybe you'll just want to spend your time in the Salt Lake Valley, our largest metropolitan area. Here, you'll find Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony and Opera, plus world-class ballet, theaters, events, museums, professional sports, dining, shopping and nightlife. Park City, a resort town that famously hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January and is home to three world-class resorts, is about a half hour to the east of Salt Lake.


Central Utah: The Exhilaration of Life!

Central Utah, a transitional stretch of land between the alpine forests of the north and the red rock canyons of the south, is a vast expanse of mountain, plateau and high desert, and ideal for the traveler in search of true solitude. It is an area rich in natural resources: from vast coalfields, to hunting and fishing meccas, to rich farmlands and mystical deserts. One of Central Utah's best historic and cultural attractions in is Heritage Highway 89. South of Price, the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry has the densest concentration of Jurassic-era dinosaur bones on the planet. From there, it's an easy jaunt to the San Rafael Swell. While "The Swell" may not be a national park, it boasts remote canyons and awesome views that rival those found anywhere in the state.


Southern Utah: Inspiring, Spectacular and Unlike Any Other Place in the World

Southern Utah is a land of unsurpassed, surprising beauty, characterized by contrasting landscapes of snow-capped mountains; towering fins of orange sandstone cut by erosion into bridges, arches and strange "hoodoos" of sculpted red rock; dramatic faults where the earth twists; and gentle, rolling hummocks of "slickrock." You'll want to plan some extra time in this place. To be precise: Top 10 Bucket List Destinations and fulfilling life lists can be built around Southern Utah alone.

Experience The Mighty 5: Utah's National Parks

Experience The Mighty 5: Utah's National Parks
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Fun Fact

Sunrise at the Mesa in Canyonlands National Park just north of Moab, Utah
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Only in Utah can one explore the National Park Service’s Mighty 5 – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion.

Must see places

Incredible scenery in Utah's Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

The sandstone masterpieces, from 120 to 300 meters tall, on the remote border with Arizona are among the most photographed points on Earth. Hike a trail, take a guided tour and see buttes and mesas.

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Historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

Historic Temple Square

The 4-hectare Salt Lake City complex, with gardens and historic buildings and museums, is one of Utah’s top tourist destinations. Book a free tour of the site, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Bison grazing at Antelope Island State Park in Utah

Antelope Island State Park

In this 11,300-hectare park, hike, bike, ride horseback, boat, camp and see animals – including antelope and bison – on a nearly deserted swath of land that juts into Great Salt Lake, northwest of Salt Lake City.

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Aerial view of Cove Fort in Utah

Cove Fort

This pioneer fort in south-central Utah was built in 1867 as a safe haven for weary travelers. Explore the reconstructed barn, corral, ice house, blacksmith shop and bunkhouse, and learn what their life was like.

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Stunning canyon scenery at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Covering an astounding 508,000 hectares, this park encompasses the area around Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon. On the water and in the backcountry, go boating, hike near canyon walls and be amazed by geologic wonders. 

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Antique farm equipment at Frontier Homestead State Park in Utah

Frontier Homestead State Park

Learn about the 1850s, when missionaries were sent to Iron County to mine and process iron. Buildings, farm equipment, interpretive programs and Indian and pioneer artifacts show what their life was like.

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Wading and hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park

The Narrows

The section is the narrowest portion of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park. Hike along the gorge, which has walls more than 300 meters tall and where the Virgin River is sometimes just six to nine meters wide.

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Commemorative statues at This is the Place Heritage State Park in Salt Lake City, Utah

This is the Place Heritage State Park

Old West heritage mixes with fun activities in nine venues at this Salt Lake City park. Tour 19th-century village buildings, ride trains, take a horseback trail ride, pan for gold and play in the splash park.

Relaxing at the base of Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Calf Creek Falls

Within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, hike a trailhead to the spectacular 65-meter waterfall. Surrounded by greenery, the upper falls spill water into the lower falls and a deep swimming hole.

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Paddleboarding at Bear Lake State Park in Utah

Bear Lake State Park

Find sandy beaches and intense turquoise-blue water at this lake, which is called the Caribbean of the Rockies. Fish, boat, ski, swim and camp around the 280-square-kilometer lake on the Utah-Idaho border. 

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Hot air balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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